If you have been diagnosed with cataracts or believe you have the sight-robbing condition, it helps to get a cataract evaluation, know the options, and prepare for the possibility of surgery. Cataract surgery technologies can help save your vision and restore the quality of life.
What to Expect During Your Cataract Evaluation
Your eye doctor with performs a thorough exam during your cataract evaluation to assess the health of your entire eye. You will likely be informed of what to expect throughout the whole process.
What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
The only way to remove a cloudy lens is with cataract surgery. The restorative procedure involves making a very small, self-healing incision through which the hardened natural lens can be extracted. Once removed, the cataract is replaced with a prosthetic lens.
Which Cataract Lens Is Right for You?
In the past, only one focal point was provided through cataract surgery technologies. For instance, distance vision was restored leaving patients dependent on bifocals or reading glasses to see up close. Modern lens advancements make it possible to read newspapers, bottles, and digital screens without corrective lenses and still see objects at a distance.
But not every patient is a candidate for this type of lens. Testing is needed to evaluate if intraocular lenses are right for you.
Cataract Surgery and Insurance
Most eyecare plans will cover the monofocal lens, it will provide improved vision at one distance, glasses are usually needed. If you wore eyeglasses prior to cataract surgery, you will likely need some type of corrective lenses afterward.
Additional Evaluation by Your Primary Care Physician
To ensure that your overall health is in good shape and that you are fit for cataract surgery, expect to schedule a visit with your PCP. Your physician will test for diabetes, high blood pressure and any health problems that may adversely affect cataract surgery, recovery, or may require extra precautions.
How to Prepare: One Week Before Cataract Surgery
Several tests will be performed about a week prior to the procedure. These pain-free tests allow your doctor to determine the correct lens implant to use for you
At this appointment, you may schedule follow-up visits and make plans for the day of the surgery. You will need to arrange a ride home ahead of time, for after the procedure. Normal activity can typically be resumed within 48 hours after cataract surgery. We recommend that you have someone assist you or be on call for the first 24 hours, while your eyes adjust.
How to Prepare: The Night Before Cataract Surgery
You may be given medication or eye drops to use the night before the procedure. Be sure to follow the instructions as prescribed. Also, abstain from alcohol the evening prior to cataract surgery. Alert your physician of all medications you are on, as they may need to be adjusted. Fast from food and drink after midnight unless instructed otherwise. Get plenty of sleep.
How to Prepare: The Day of Cataract Surgery
No eating or drinking the day of cataract surgery. Wear comfortable clothes and skip the cosmetics, cologne, and perfume. Arrive about 30 minutes early to ask questions and complete any last-minute paperwork. After the preliminary preparations, the procedure is rather quick. Most patients are on their way home in about two hours.